It is not a secret; Haas is having its worst season since 2016, the year they entered motorsport's top category. So far and after having concluded seven races, the North American team has not managed to score a single point. Many people believe that the main reason for this is that both of their drivers are rookies in the category. A decision that was undoubtedly risky at the time, however, we see them increasingly getting used to their respective car. Today, Friday June 25th, 2021, the first two free practice sessions were held. Subsequently, Guenther Steiner, who serves as Haas’ team principal, spoke to MotorLat, and other media, from Austria on various topics, these were the most important statements of this press conference.
To begin with, today we could hear that Mick Schumacher was not in a comfortable position, so Steiner was asked what this meant, if at some point nearby the German driver was going to have another seat manufactured again or stay with the same. This is what he answered: “Somebody told me in France that there was something [wrong] with the seat. I wasn’t aware but it has just been escalating. I don’t think there is any urgency to make another seat. Maybe he is complaining because he is not that straight or not in 45°. We will make him a seat as soon as he wants one and once we are in the right position to do so. I don’t think is a big issue.”
As we already mentioned, the first two free practice sessions were held today. Haas didn't make big improvements in their finishing positions. In the morning session, Nikita Mazepin placed last, while Mick Schumacher finished in P18. Subsequently, the Russian driver finished in P18 and the German in P17. Here's what Steiner thinks about these two sessions: “The only thing that went wrong in FP2 was that Nikita flat-spotted and he couldn’t use them for the long run afterwards. We went out pretty early in the session so we make sure that if it starts to rain, we get as much laps as we could. The session programme was great.”
We all know that Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel have a pretty healthy relationship. This can be quite beneficial for the son of the seven-time world champion, as Mick is receiving advice from a four-time world champion, namely Sebastian Vettel. Here's what Guenther thinks about this relationship between the two German drivers: “I think is quite good from Sebastian to spend some time with Mick and being kind of his mentor. I mean, he is a four-time world champion and it looks that both of them have a good connection between each other, I think Mick will benefit from it. It’s nice to see that Sebastian, who is not young anymore, takes care of the young guys. He [Seb] tries to take them into the right track and for sure is very helpful.”
Something very controversial that has been in the headlines of the media is the problems that the two Haas drivers have been having. We were able to observe that since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mazepin and Schumacher had an altercation on the last lap of said Grand Prix, where an aggressive manoeuvre by Mazepin to defend himself from his teammate, almost made both of them go to the wall. He was asked if Guenther believed that these mishaps had started from Monaco. “I wouldn’t think so, because both spoke really clear about it and I think there is no altercation between them. The only one you can fight, if you are last, is your teammate.”
Finally, MotorLat had the opportunity to ask the Haas team principal that which is the Grand Prix and the circuit that they most expect to have the opportunity to find more pace in their car and thus be able to score their first points, Guenther answered: “That would be next year, hopefully in Australia.” He joked. “From this car, I don’t see a big chance that we are shining this year, the only thing we can do maybe [is] taking the fight in qualifying to one of the Williams. But there is not a specific racetrack. There will not be any surprise in our performance this year. I’m very well aware of that one.”